Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2017 – Orkney Ferries

Our Ref: SH/0001/OF
4th August 2017

Dear Colleagues

Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2017 – Orkney Ferries

Further to previous correspondence, the referendum of you and your colleagues has concluded with the following result:-

QUESTION: Are you prepared to accept the company’s offer?

TOTAL VOTES CAST                         13
VOTING ‘YES’                                     0                                                                                       
VOTING ‘NO’                                     13                                                      
SPOILT                                                  0                                                                   
In light of the referendum result, I have written to Orkney Ferries to advise them the RMT has formally rejected their derisory pay offer. The union’s negotiating team has now had the opportunity to meet with the company to seek an improved pay settlement.

At the meeting management advised the RMT that they could not improve their original 1.5% pay offer for 2017, as it is currently costing them £10 million per annum to run their services and they only get £4.5 million in subsidy from Holyrood.

In response, it was pointed out to Orkney Ferries that their proposed pay award is considerably inferior to other pay awards which have been achieved in 2016/17 at other ferry companies who provide ‘lifeline services’ in Scotland. Although, the company continued to plead poverty, they did let it slip that they have £200 million in reserve from oil revenues.  

At the close of the meeting, management advised the union’s negotiating team that they would now take this matter back to the company’s board. The board is due to meet within the next fortnight and once they have concluded their meeting they will advise the unions whether they are in a position to enhance their pay offer.        

The matter has now been considered by your union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and it has instructed that I prepare a ballot matrix for the purpose of carrying out a ballot for industrial action should the company refuse to improve their pay offer. In order to prepare for an industrial action ballot, it is vital that your details are up to date. These details are your job title, your workplace and your contact details. Please report any changes to the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or alternatively, you can email info@rmt.org.uk
I will keep you fully updated as new information arises.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary